For most would-be road-trippers, that long awaited road trip you’ve been itching to take just doesn’t seem to be happening, especially if it’s your very first road trip you’re going to be going on. Between coming up with the perfect time to go with all the friends you want to take along and the finances not quite coming together, there’s a lot which can hinder the planning process to finally make it happen.

If push comes to shove then you might want to consider going alone, but there’s no doubt about the fact that road trips are that much more fun when the memories made along the way are shared with some of those special people in your life. As far as it goes with the finances however, road trips can work out much cheaper than what you might have anticipated. If you’re travelling locally, the major costs involved include the fuel you’ll be running on as well as what will naturally be additional running and maintenance costs on your vehicle, but if your road trip is one which is earmarked to play out abroad, unless you can drive to the neighbouring country you’ll be touring by road then you’ll inevitably have to hire a car.

If you sit down and crunch the numbers with actual price quotes and special promotions on offer form the various service providers who are associated with the costs of your typical road trip, you might even have your bags packed for the next time you have a few days off. It really isn’t that expensive.

All of that said however, there are some hidden costs which could flare up and if you’re not prepared for these they can make a major dent in your budget. Here are some of these unnecessary costs you can hedge against by simply being prepared:

Unusually High Fuel Consumption

When cars are still new, the fuel consumption rate indicated by the manufacturers tends to hold water and is generally very close to being dead-accurate, but as a car gets older this is just one of the many things which seem to change a bit. Determine the real miles per gallon rate of the vehicle you’ll be using, by taking into account how this may change when driving for longer periods. Factors such as making sure your car tyres are in the right condition and you have the correct tyres too can make a difference to the car’s fuel consumption, as well as how much weight you’re carrying, so check the tread on your tyres, check that they are inflated properly and also try to pack as light as possible in order to get the best from the car.

Try to Avoid Tolls

This is a road-trip after all and it’s all about adventure. However, in order to try and reduce the money that you’ll be spending, it’s wise to avoid privately maintained roads, highways, motorways and so on which tend to have more than their fair share of toll booths, toll gates or any other point along the road where you’ll have to pay some money in order to get through. Yes, these are probably very well-maintained roads, have minimal potholes and could contribute toward better overall performance of your car but if you want to explore the road less-travelled on your road trip, from time to time you have to do things you don’t necessarily want to do in order to get to where you want to be.

High Accommodation Rates

Pack some camping gear and you could perhaps travel much longer on your road trip, as an alternative to spending what will likely be large amounts of money on last-minute accommodation at expensive hotels and the likes. It may be a little less luxurious but it’ll save you a tonne of money in the long run.

Traffic Fines

It’s very easy to get lost in the moment and step a bit too hard on the accelerator when you’re taking in some of those great views of roads you’ve never driven on before, so be vigilant and stick to the speed limits throughout in order to avoid hefty fines. Sanity needs to prevail at all times too so don’t drink and drive either but this is a pretty obvious one.